Clip File: Lester "Red" Rodney (1911-2009)

"It didn't make SportsCenter, but one of history's most influential sportswriters died this week at the age of 98. His name was Lester Rodney. Lester Rodney - Political Affairs magazineLester was one of the first people to write about a young Negro League prospect named Jackie Robinson. He was the last living journalist to cover the famous 1938 fight at Yankee Stadium between 'The Brown Bomber' Joe Louis and Hitler favorite, Max Schmeling. He crusaded against baseball's color line when almost every other journalist pretended it didn't exist. He edited a political sports page that engaged his audience in how to fight for a more just sports world. His writing, which could describe the beauty of a well-turned double play in one sentence and blast injustice in the next, is still bracing and ahead of its time. He should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Instead he was largely erased from the books."

The rest of the story: More Than a Sportswriter: Lester "Red" Rodney: 1911-2009 by Dave Zirin (Huffington Post 2009-12-23)

Reading list: Interview with Lester Rodney (Political Affairs magazine)
Press Box Red: The Story of Lester Rodney, the Communist Who Helped Break the Color Line in American Sports by Irwin Silber (Temple University Press 2003)

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